Volunteering Solutions is relentlessly focusing on the well-being of the volunteers as well as the host communities across the globe.
The past few months have been a challenging and testing time for everyone across the world as we have been hit by the COVID-19 in the most unexpected ways possible. On the whole, more than 39 million people have been infected worldwide due to the virus.
Is it safe to travel and volunteer abroad during the Coronavirus outbreak?
For the well-being of the volunteer travelers & interns who are eager to join our programs and contribute meaningfully towards societal development, we assure that this is not a safe time to travel overseas.
As the WHO (World Health Organization) has declared this as a pandemic, each country is doing the best from their end to contain this outbreak and we, as an international organization, is hoping that a restriction in cross-border movement will also curb the spread of the virus and science will help us to wake up to a better tomorrow.
According to the latest travel advisory from worldwide healthcare authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we have currently closed programs in all countries (except Kenya, Portugal, Costa Rica and Arusha – Tanzania) till October 31st 2020.
Our Team is closely monitoring the updates and rapidly-changing situations. We aim to keep you posted about the same.
We will be updating latest information on the opening up of the programs on our News Page.
We are making plans to open our programs gradually in the coming months on a case to case basis depening on the latest travel advisories in each country and the local government restrictions in place.
Given below is a list of tentative opening times for each destination & programs. This information is just a guide and is being shared to give a rough idea of when you may expect to start travelling again.
Costa Rica – Borders are now open and welcoming travelers from select countries. Programs have resumed.
Portugal - Borders are open and programs have resumed.
Ghana – Borders are open and Ghana has started welcoming international travelers. Programs resuming from 1st November 2020.
Uganda - Borders opening from 01st October 2020 for international travelers. Programs resuming from 1st November 2020.
India – Estimated to open borders in end early 2021.
Nepal - Estimated to open borders sometime around November or December 2020.
Bali – Estimated to open borders in January 2021.
Peru - Borders to open from October 2020. Selected programs will mostly resume from January 2021.
South Africa – Borders are open for international flights. Programs in Cape Town to resume from 1st November 2020. Travellers from high risk countries not allowed to enter the country.
Sri Lanka – Estimated to open borders in November/December 2020. Has been given safe travel stamp by WTTC.
Tanzania – Borders are open and Tanzania has started welcoming international travelers. Programs are open in Arusha. Zanzibar programs to resume in 2021.
Thailand – Estimated to open borders in December 2020 or January 2021.
Vietnam – Estimated to open borders in November/December.
Spain - Programs estimated to resume fully from Jan 2021.
Ireland - Programs estimated to resume fully from Jan 2021.
Morocco - Estimated to open borders sometime in November or December 2020.
Madagascar - Borders opening from 1st October 2020. Programs shall resume from November/December 2020.
For certain destinations that are not mentioned above, programs would tentatively resume by the end of 2020 or early 2021.
How can I change my travel dates and still go for volunteering abroad in 2021?
We know that your wanderlustful soul is keeping you on your toes - but we’d request you to take this as an opportunity to slow down, reflect and start making plans for the future. In the meanwhile, we’re offering greater flexibility for changes to travel dates and destinations during this period of uncertainty. You can reschedule your volunteering trip for travel during anytime in 2021 and we'll be glad to offer you the dates of your choice.
In case you don’t know when you will be able to travel, we shall be happy to hold your registration and any program fee you’ve paid as a credit on your ‘My Account’ until you decide when & where you'd want to travel to.
In case I want to book my volunteering trip now, what are the essential things that I need to consider?
We do understand that many of you out there have already planned the flow of the year and wish to make certain bookings beforehand. We're hoping that life will soon return to normal and our programs will run smoothly as before, from June onwards. In case you wish to make your bookings now, make sure to keep the following in mind:
Get a comprehensive Travel Insurance Policy and make sure it covers you for the eventualities that you are most concerned about.
Book refundable flight tickets or wait until the situation gets better. Since we're flexible with changing your program dates & destination, we'd ask you to wait for some time now, and book your flights only when you're closer to your departure date.
Do take care of yourself in the best possible manner, try to avoid going out if it's not extremely necessary and follow the precautionary measures that have been rolled out by the international health organizations.
What are the necessary precautions needed to be taken in this hour of need?
As they say, ‘Precaution is better than cure’ and we earnestly request you to stay safe at home, and step out only if it’s absolutely necessary.
Here are certain precautions that should be taken on a regular basis for your well-being:
1) Wear a mask whenever you step out of your home.
2) Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after eating, after you sneeze, cough or blow your nose.
3) If you do not have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
4) Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
5) If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care at the earliest.
6) Maintain distance from anyone who seems to be sick or is coughing and sneezing.
7) Make sure you cover your nose and mouth while sneezing using a disposable tissue and dispose of it immediately.
You can check out more details about COVID-19 and Travel Advisory passed by WHO, here.
Volunteering Solutions’ Operations Team will be active - so in case you have any travel query or wish to discuss plans regarding volunteering abroad in future, just drop us a mail at [email protected] and we shall get back to you ASAP :)
We are hopeful that this catastrophe will soon be a talk of the past, and we'll all be able to join hands to volunteer abroad, spreading happiness & make a difference.
Updated on 18th October 2020